The Industrial Revolution
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What technological advances would have been most responsible for the major changes in human diet following the industrial revolution? Explain your choices and give examples.
“The era known as the Industrial Revolution was a period in which fundamental changes occurred in agriculture, textile and metal manufacture, transportation, economic policies and the social structure” (Montagna,2012). The period of 18th – 19th century is denominated as the Revolution because of fundamental changes of human life. With the invention of agriculture equipment and machinery peasants’ labor approximated to factory workers’ labor. The next change in human diet occurred with railway roads building and steam-ships invention. It eased the products transportation and supply. The development and subsequent application of steam power was undoubtedly the greatest technical achievement of the Industrial Revolution, writes Joseph Montagna (Montagna, 2012). The restoration of the land fertility with the clover and legumes growing increased the amount of the harvest, while yielding supplied cattle though the cold seasons.
“…Changes which have occurred in agriculture made it possible to feed all of the people that were attracted to the industrial centers as factory workers” (Montagna, 2012). But the most reasonable for the major changes in human diet would have been: transportation, refrigeration, canning and vacuum packing.
The transportation is the most significant among listed. It supplied urbanized cities with fresh vegetables and fruits and assisted products barter and trade. A village agricultural raw material supplied to the cities and returned in the factory products. Without transportation no village-city cooperation would have been possible.
The refrigeration is not less important. The invention of the deep-freezer helped to keep food fresh longer and eased the transportation of the perishables. It allowed meat and fish far transportation and changed the human diet.
Canning process would have been able to supply meat and fish transportation too, but just in ordinal samples. Canned fish, for example, could not be fried and meat chopped. But preserved vegetables and fruits were perfect for winter time and long journeys. Canned meat and fish contributed multiformity of perishables preserving and tasting.
Vacuum packing would have been the next advancement allowing long perishables keeping without frizzing but with elimination of the access for fresh air. The vacuum packing maintains the perfect taste of smoke and smoke-dried products, which will alter while freezing.
The human diet has revolutionary changed through the last two centuries. The transportation’s and refrigeration’s technical advances without doubt are the most responsible in these changes. Canning takes the second place and vacuum packaging the third.